The Godhead is Om

OM is a holy sound which is not only a chant, but it is a template of cosmic energy that when applied to our bodies by simple sounds actually generates a flow of cosmic energy from the lower chakras to the upper chakras and initiates a process of energy flow that stimulates spiritual evolution.

The holy sound of OM is a combination of three letters A-U-M and these three sounds symbolize the Divine Energy or Shakti. But that is not all. There are many very interesting aspects of these syllables that can be experienced by you right now.

Sit back and relax a moment and take a deep breath. Now say ‘Ahhh’ in a normal voice – neither a shout nor a whisper – but just kind of like if you were singing ‘Ahhh’ – the musical note. You will feel something in your gut region as you chant this. A kind of tingling sensation. Feel it?

Now the next sound U (oo). Take a deep breath and say, “Ooo” rhyming with ‘too’. Where do you feel the tingling sensation now? Feel it. You will feel a sensation in your chest area.

Now for the final sound M.

Take a deep breath and make a humming sound of ‘Mmm’. Where do you feel the sensation now? In the head area? You are on the right track.

Try this a few times and experiment. Now for the combination. Combine the three sounds and say ‘Om’ or ‘Aum’. Notice the sensation. It begins in the gut area, moves to the chest area and finally into the head area. This is the Shakti that is flowing from the lower chakras to the higher ones. This is the direction of the Shakti flow that causes spiritual growth.

But there is something about this experiment that is even more interesting. In the Hindu tradition, the Trimurti is the Divine Godhead that comprises of Brahma (Creator), Vishnu (Preserver) and Shiva (Destroyer or Transformer). The three sounds that you just experimented with are also representations of these three gods. The ‘A’ is Brahma the ‘U’ is Vishnu and the ‘M’ is Shiva.

The gut is the region which naturally resonates with the ‘A’ sound. This is also the symbolic region of Brahma, the Creator. Think about it. The gut is the place of creation. Babies gestate in the womb, food is digested in the stomach from where new energy is created.

The chest is the region which naturally resonates with the ‘U’ sound. This is the symbolic region of Vishnu, the Preserver. Life is preserved generally through the chest region. This is where the oxygen is stored in the lungs, this is where the blood is circulated throughout the body. These are the main aspects of preservation of life.

The head is the region which naturally resonates with the ‘M’ sound. This is the symbolic region of Shiva, the Transformer. Along with Destroyer, Shiva is also considered as Transformer. It is through him that the souls evolve or transform into a higher form eventually. The head is the place of transformation. The Third Eye or the Ajna chakra and the Crown chakra are seated in the head. The spiritual energy that travels from the gut into the chest is finally processed in the head region and this is where our consciousness is transformed gradually into the higher spiritual planes

Shiva is more commonly referred to as the ‘Destroyer’. However, he is also called the Transformer. They are connected. When a seed is planted into the soil and grows into a plant, the seed has been transformed into something greater or higher and in the process, the seed is ‘destroyed’ in a sense. When darkness is destroyed, it is transformed to light. When evil is destroyed, it is transformed into love – a higher frequency of consciousness.

So OM is a Divine sound that is a combination of sounds which symbolize the Godhead and also can be practically tested and experienced as a way of transmuting the core base energy into preservative and then ultimately transformative energy that leads to spiritual evolution and awareness of the higher planes of consciousness.

Multiplying wealth, creativity and love

Being fruitful and multiplying wealth

Multiplying wealth is God’s command. But so is multiplying creativity and love.

According to the Bible the first command God gave humans was to ‘be fruitful and multiply’ (Genesis 1:28). While this could be taken as a command to populate the planet, it has much deeper meaning that is as relevant today as it was then.

Jesus Christ taught lessons using stories or parables. One of these – the Parable of the Talents  (Matthew 25:14-30) is about ‘being fruitful and multiplying’ but in a very different way.

Parable of the Talents – a gist

It is about an employer who is about to go away for some time. Before he does, he gives three servants – lets call them A, B and C some talents (coins). A gets 5 coins, B gets 2 coins and C gets 1 coin.

When the employer returns some time later, he asks A, B and C to account for how well they managed the money they were left as stewards for. How much did they multiply wealth?

A has made 5 coins grow to 10, B made 2 coins grow to 4, but C took 1 coin, buried it and returned it to his master.

The master is furious! He abuses C and takes away the money from him and gives it to A. ‘You could have at least put the money in the bank and earned deposit,’ says the master to C.

Then Jesus goes on to say that those that multiply wealth will get more and those that do not will lose even what they do have.

Lesson on investing?

Instead of letting money stagnate through hoarding and hiding it should be invested and circulated.

But the power of this parable goes way beyond multiplying wealth. For this goes to the very first command God gave humanity – ‘be fruitful and multiply’. Let us take a closer look at this and its importance for our world today.

Multiplying wealth – material, spiritual and creative to make a better world

God has given each and every one of us certain gifts. Some may be writers, musicians, artists, leaders, healers, speakers, caregivers and so on. God gave us all various ‘talents’ or ‘creative seeds’. These should be multiplied and grown, not buried in the sand. Using these to help enrich our world is how we make them grow. Multiplying wealth is not only about multiplying material wealth.

But it goes even further that this. What is the biggest gift or virtue that God gives us? It is the capacity to love. Through love come the other virtues of peace, joy, happiness, bliss, and contentment.

If we apply the parable of talents in our daily lives, then we need to use the gifts that God has given us (including the gift of love) and multiply them. If you are loved by God (which we all are, even if we don’t realise it) then we need to make that love grow and multiply just as the first servant did. We need to make sure that the love God has given us is put to use and spread to others and not buried inside the depths of our own self-centredness.

Love is a resource, an asset!

To use the investment analogy – love is a resource, an asset, a gift that we have along with our other creative talents or skills. This asset has to grow in order for us to live bountiful lives. It can only grow by circulation and not by stagnation.

When you help something grow you get more rewards or ‘fruit’.

In the parable, it is multiplying wealth. In our own lives, it could be money, skills, love or blessings. These things come to us only when we take the risk of taking a chance.

We may think we are preserving something by hiding it away or being overprotective but we are doing the opposite. By hiding something away that can bring value to the world, we are inadvertently destroying it.

The greatest risk is not taking any

Ships may be safe in the harbour, but that is not what ships were built for.

We may feel we are safe by suppressing our own creative skills, procrastinating or by being indifferent to others, but that is not what we came to Earth for.

So don’t waste time. Be like the first servant. Use your gifts, improve the world, spread love and compassion to all you encounter. Multiply wealth whether it is material wealth, spiritual wealth or creative wealth. Today’s world has its share of problems but it also has its share of wonder. By nurturing and growing our talents, we can bring more love, peace and creativity to our world.

Creating your own custom image display sizes in WordPress

Creating custom image display sizes in WordPress is something that can make your site really attractive!

Are you having problems with WordPress image display sizes?

There are some tutorials available on YouTube and Google, but none seemed to work properly for me.

Recently, I decided to revamp this website and since I am a web designer and have dabbled in stuff like PHP/MySQL etc in the past, I decided to do it myself. So, first I installed WordPress on my server and got some cool themes and plugins and created a new site (The theme on my site is Executive Pro). I think the new site looks pretty cool.

However, my images were being displayed in the wrong sizes. Somehow my images on posts were always coming in thumbnail size despite changing the image display size options in the Media Library.

An image sized 400x264
An image sized 400×264 px in WordPress

I went to Style.css and made some changes to the IMG tag and was excited when I saw that an image of my books was now displaying in the correct size as I wanted. Was the problem solved? Not yet.

I found a picture of President Donald Trump’s swearing-in for a new post I was writing. But this picture, which I wanted as a wide banner like image was being displayed as a small image – like my book cover images on my Books page. I changed the image size in Style.css again. The Donald Trump image got fixed, but now my Books cover images were large, stretched and distorted.

Create your own custom IMG class

I used YouTube and Google to find a solution to this. Most of the solutions I found involved resizing images in the Media Library or resorting to coding. The resizing part didn’t work and I did not want to get into PHP coding. For almost three days, I tried to find solutions to no avail. But last night, I got an idea that so far seems to work well – creating IMG classes for specific posts or pages.

So for example, I wanted my book IMG size to be 166×248 pixels. When you look at the code in Text mode on the post editor, the IMG tag had been designated a particular class by WordPress and while the IMG code showed these dimensions, the IMG somehow never displayed correctly.

Then I thought just like we can create STYLES for text, why not for IMAGES? I wanted that my book cover images should be assigned a class which I called ‘book’. So I went to the Style.css file and found:

#primary img {

                      width: 100%;
                      height: 100%;
}

and then I inserted the following code in the STYLE.CSS file immediately after this:

#primary img.book {

width: 166px:
height: 248px;
}

Basically, I created a new class of images sized particularly for my book cover images. Then in the BOOKS page, I deleted the WORDPRESS CLASS that had been created by default at the IMG tag and added class=”book” into the code. It worked like a charm. So far, so good. I hope it helps you as well.

Spiritual voyagers of eternity

We are spiritual beings encased in physical bodies. We are not human beings who have occasional spiritual experiences, but rather we are spiritual beings who have occasional human experiences.

Our bodies are born, our bodies die; but we our selves do neither. We are voyagers of eternity created to learn and experience, to assimilate, to absorb, to observe and ultimately to know.

Once we realise these things, we will be free from the chains that bind us to continue in this unending journey of discovery in the form of flesh. But self-realisation is not the end of discovery, it is just the beginning, for without the enslavement in the flesh; we are free to soar through the innumerable worlds and innumerable planes of existence as freely as the light that shines forth from the countless suns.

There are no strangers on Christmas

(Published in the Indian Express – December 25, 2016)
It is Christmas once again!

This is that time of the year when we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and also prepare for the coming of a new year. It is a time of merriment and joy where we celebrate not only with cakes, presents and Christmas trees but also reflect on the year that has gone by.

The message for this Christmas is humility.

The promised messiah entered this world not in the comfort of a palace with several servants, but was born in a humble manger with only shepherds to welcome him. But the shepherds were witnesses to a great event earlier when the glory of the Lord appeared to them in the form of angels. These angels informed them that a holy child would be born in Bethlehem, and that child would be found in a manger.

As the Christ would say some thirty years later –

‘For whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.’ (Matthew 23:12 NIV).

Jesus Christ taught a simple lesson of love, forgiveness, humility and brotherhood – as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago.

Just as Christ’s birth is celebrated every year, it should also be a reminder that this is a good time to reflect on the year that has passed by and plan out how we approach the coming new year.

What are the lessons we have learned? What are our successes and failures? What are the things we are proud of and what are the mistakes we made that we can learn from? Christmas is the perfect time to think of these things.

We live in interesting times. There is a lot of strife, violence, terrorism, and environmental and economic difficulties in our times. But at the same time, there is a lot of hope in the fact that we are coming together as a planet. Thanks to technology and media we are no longer on the far fringes from anybody else. More than ever before, we as a planet are faced with challenges and dangers that affect us all. In such times is a perfect opportunity for us to solve our world’s problems together and together take our species into a new era of love, light, peace, prosperity, discovery, joy and happiness as one world, one people.

Humility is the message that we are thinking about this Christmas. We may think that humility is synonymous with irrelevance, but nothing could be further from the truth! Think of Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, Benjamin Franklin, Swami Vivekananda, Saint Mother Teresa of Kolkata, Bill Clinton and our own prime minister Shri Narendra Modi. All of these people began their life journey from very humble backgrounds, but that did not deter them from achieving greatness. Humility is not the opposite of greatness, but rather the path towards it!

It is not ungodly or unrighteous to seek greatness. True humility is to strive for something great and achieve it, but to recognise that whatever you achieve is meant for God’s glory and not your own personal glory. It is up to us to solve the problems of this world. It is up to us to make this world a better place with a brighter, peaceful and prosperous future.

As U.S. President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural address on January 20, 1961:

‘Here on Earth, God’s work must truly be our own.’

So this year on Christmas let us recognise that we all have a mission, we all have a duty to our world, we all have the responsibility to make this world a better place, but at the same time we need to do it for the glory of God. Christmas is a great day to remember this lesson – God gave the world his son to lead the people of the world to love their neighbour as themselves, to forgive one another, not to judge nor condemn but to thrive and strive towards perfection.

As Jesus said:

‘Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect.’ (Matthew 5:48 NIV)

In the process, remember that you are a gift to this world and like Jesus or any of the other people who have given much to this world, you have a mission, you have a gift inside you that must be given to the world. Today is a good time to look into your inner self and ask for God’s help to make you an instrument of His love, His light, His peace, His joy, His glory and His power.

We are all children of God living together on a small blue planet in a small corner of our Galaxy and there are no strangers on Christmas or ever.

I take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous New Year 2017.

From A Single Drop To The Mighty Ocean

About Becoming One With God

Many people fear that becoming one with God means they will cease to exist as an individual soul. But you will never cease to exist; you will always have your identity, awareness and consciousness. What will change are the boundaries of what you are conscious of. In essence, you will become bigger, more aware and gain qualities that you were never aware that you even had.

When two drops of water merge, they form a larger drop. You may think that the two smaller drops cease to exist, but in actuality they have merged together to form a larger entity . That larger entity retains the qualities, characteristics and properties of the smaller drops but now exists as one entity. If you were one of the smaller drops, you would not cease to exist; your consciousness would expand. What happens when this newly formed larger drop falls into the ocean?

It would not exist in its original form, but all its molecules, atoms, properties and characteristics would still exist.But since it would now be one with the ocean without any separation, it would have access to all the resources of the ocean. Its sense of who it is, would expand to infinity.So has its sense of awareness, consciousness or identity ended? On the contrary , it has been greatly expanded. It now feels what the ocean feels, it now sees what the ocean sees, and it now hears what the ocean hears.

When we become One with God, we do not cease to exist; our consciousness expands. We will still retain every memory, thought, feeling, idea and emotion that we’ve accumulated over several incarnations. And all those others that we have loved and felt close to ­ even those who have passed away ­ will once again be with us. In the Oneness, there is neither death, nor separation. We will have access to all those we have loved and lost.

We are all made in God’s image. We are all a reflection, a representation of the Infinite Creator. So just like our own image in the form of a photo, reflection, portrait or video is a symbol of us, so too, we are the symbols of God. We are all drops in the Ocean called God.

This is why it is so important to have compassion towards each other. Not because of a subjective notion of being good but because truly when you love others, you love yourself. When you harm others, you harm yourself.Because in the final analysis, as we evolve as spiritual beings having a human experience, we will realise that we are all One in actuality . As we evolve spiritually , we will actually feel a lucid, knowable and realisable oneness with everything else.

Love is the energy of oneness. Love is the feeling of compassion. Love is the stuff out of which consciousness is made. Love is the raw material the Creator has used to create the cosmos.When we love others, we are truly loving ourselves and when we truly love ourselves, we are truly loving God.

So never again let the fear of oblivion enter your hearts or minds, for you will always exist in fullness, but that fullness will just keep getting bigger and bigger.

It is expansion towards infinity.

(The Speaking Tree Column, Edit Page, Times of India, August 24, 2016)

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The Power of YOU!

A new video I uploaded today. It’s about YOU! Yes, YOU! For you have the power to change the world, to shape your own destiny. We think some politician or government will do that, but no, its you, its me, its us! Please watch this and leave your comments and if you like it, please share.
Thanks!

 

Let there be spaces in your togetherness

Lebanese poet-philosopher Khalil Gibran, in ‘The Prophet’ has beautiful advice in reference to detachment in relationships:

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love. Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your soul. Sing and dance together but let each one be alone. Stand together yet not too near together, for the pillars of a temple stand apart and the oak tree and cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.”

After The Dark Night, The Sun Shines Bright

Unless we experience darkness, we will never value the light. Everybody has experienced or is experiencing some kind. Sometimes it is a lonely place to be in. You get the feeling of being alone and disconnected. Worry and doubt seem to be ‘solutions’ when in reality they only make you sink further into the hole of misery.

The truth is: You are never alone! Worry and doubts are not the answer and always remember that this period of darkness will pass. But the first thing you must do is to recognise your situation for what it is. In Reality it is nothing but one of the many experiences that we have signed up for on this journey we call life. And whether we know it or not, God is always with us on the journey with all its ups and downs.

Unless we participate in life’s battles we will never succeed. We must approach all our problems in life as opportunities to grow and learn. Just as the on who wants to build his body needs to exercise, so must we go through problems in life for our souls and characters to grow. Just as lifting weights makes our muscles stronger by overcoming resistance, our soul need some resistance as well to become stronger. we are here to learn lessons; and many more lessons are learnt through defeat than through victory. This does not mean that we are here to fail; far from it. We are here to win; but often times victoryis not complete without lessons learnt and no matter how much we wish otherwise, most lessons are learnt through our defeats more than our victories.

Hard times should be learnt from and accepted as a part of life but should never lead to unhappiness.

Faith in ourselves and in a power higher than us is the key element to both happiness and success and through that, moving from darkness to light. Let that peace, hope, happiness, contentment, love, joy and abundance consciousness permeate our subconscious minds so that our circumstances appear to manifest these into our living reality.

To climb the highest mountain, you often go through a series of hills and valleys before you can reach th summit. For that to happen you must keep on moving, navigating the valleys and thorns as a matter fo course in order to reach the goal. Let us take life in our stride and deal with whatever cards life has dealt us. No matter how hard it may seem, faith can truly move mountains and you can overcome every difficulty or obstacle in your path.

It is only when we have known the darkness, do we realise the value of light. Despite seeming elusive at times, light could be just around the corner. Like the light at the end of the tunnel, or the dawn that follows the darkest night, or the sun that appears from behind the clouds-your light is there, too, even though it plays hide-and-seek. These are the moments in life when you need to sit it is you are here to do.

When you believe that you will find light, when you believe that the darkness is only a phase and treat it as nothing more, your light will become visible and you will shine as a beacon of hope to many.

(Times of India, Speaking Tree Column, Edit Page, October 20, 2015)

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NASA announces liquid water on Mars, but life?

Today NASA announced that liquid water still flows on the surface of Mars! Well, this is the second best announcement about Mars that we could wish for – the first being of course that they found life! Hmm, perhaps a little disappointing but who knows, that announcement could come sooner than we think.

Well the fact that there is liquid water on Mars significantly increases the possibility of life on Mars and also it makes things a lot easier for humans to someday visit and colonize the Red Planet.

Actually water, which is the most important aspect for life as we know it, is not as rare as we once thought. Apart from Mars – our own moon, Enceladus (a moon of Saturn) and Europa (a moon of Jupiter) are believed to also have plenty of water. Signatures of water have also been found around planets orbiting around distant stars as well.

Where water is, life cannot be too far away. So it is just a matter of time before we discover life outside our own world. Slowly but surely most of the scientific data that we are receiving is making the answer imminent – we most certainly are not alone!